Habiru and Joshua
jonathan.bailey at gmx.de
Wed Feb 9 10:04:17 EST 2000
Well, whole bunch of people on the list seem to be comfortable with a 15th century
Exodus, and their views haven't been discounted, so any refutation of my idea which
is based on their ideas being discounted doesn't hold water with me. In other words,
you are stopped clean at ("I think that Rameses II is the most likely Pharaoh of the
exodus..."). That is what you think, but many others think otherwise.
Really here I was looking for specific references within the El Amarna tablets that
absolutely prevent Joshua and Friends from being Habiru, or specific references from
the bible surounding the events of Joshua and the Judges invasion which don't square
with the political/geographical situation from the letters.
Conjecture based upon conjecture was not what I was looking for.
In other words, I (and many others) do not buy your theory, so you can't use it as
evidence. I need references from Amarna, the bible, Egyptian, and
Babylonian/Assyrian annals that prevent Joshua from being Habiru.
The Amarna letters have been used quite some time to damage the biblical timeline
because they do not mention philistines or Israel. We have discussed that the term
philistine could be redefined to include a Hebrew word (perhaps borrowed from
Egyptian with altered meaning) for many of the semitic and/or non-semitic inhabitants
of the levant which may have not been present in the Amarna dialect, and if we assign
a Habiru name to Israel, then perhaps the Amarna letters could be an extremely
strong supporter of the biblical timeline. I mean we have a 14th century invasion of the
mysterious "Habiru". Sounds like another 14th century invasion I have read about
Now concerning typological timelines, I have never been one to hang on to every
biblical date with everything that I have. After all, we are talking about a text that
assigns the date of Adam's death to the day he ate the fruit, and then describes a
further 800+ years of his life. Also, the whole 70 Weeks of Daniel thing should show
anybody that God's timelines are a little different than man's. It has been a long 490
years. Now the reigns of these kings at 40 years may have been "spiritual" (therefore
not counting times that the Kings led their peoples into apostacy), and times when
"the ark was not in the hands of Israel" may not be counted, etc. The fact that
geneologies, reigns, etc. are extremely typological, and that geneologies occasionally
double names, often omit names, and not infrequently contradict each other (at least
at a cursory reading) does not dictate that they are untrue, but just that they must be
taken as theological works not interested in letting us get all of our dates straight. I do
believe, however, that the writer(s) of scripture did not want to completely baffle us,
and that the dates therein would have to be something that the people of the day
could "buy". So, FOR THE MOST PART, I believe that, though the dates may not be
on the money (at least by our historical reckoning), they had to be within the ball park
enough to satisfy most observers, and with such a blanket statement as the 480
years from Exodus to Solomon would probably be a date that agreed, at least
generally, with contemporary extra-biblical historical records. So I am looking into the
date of 1446 knowing that it could be a few years either way, and am basically more
interested in "15th century", etc. And then one could also incorporate the idea that
there is a God who personally designs history, and when revealing himself to man
through Israel may apply unusual criteria, that is, perhaps the unusual happened in
this unique case, and the typological dates are dead on. Though I am no diehard
defender of the masoretic dating system (after all, the LXX - a rendering of the holy
scripture as well - has its own numbers), but being a scholar, I have to give place to
the possibility that the masoretic dates are generally accurate, if not even (though
through supernatural agency) right on the money. It is only an unscholarly slavish
devotion to humanistic principle which forces the exclusion of the possibility of the
supernatural, but even without a supernatural element, the fact that the Hebrew
scriptures are as complete as any other ancient history that I have seen (and they all
seem to mention gods and heroes as well), warrants that its dates be considered.
Now I would not have brought this up with absolutely nothing to go on. It would not
have broken my faith if the masoretic date were wrong (at least by our historical
reckoning - I would still be convinced of the truth of it for theological/typological
purposes), but a number of interesting points were made (even by Jack Kilmon, not
known to be a conservative/fundamentalist type) that thought of the 15th century
exodus as at least possibility, and some even put forth good arguments showing
supporting evidence for it. And now here we are reading about a 14th century invasion
of Habiru in the El Amarna letters. So I am continuing our 15th century Exodus
discussion by seeing if there could be a 14th century Joshuan conquest.
Now the 480 years talks about 'the Israelites leaving Egypt'. The point at which Israel
left Egypt could be, theologically speaking, at Moses' calling at the bush, Moses'
declaration of independance before Pharao, the Passover, God's victory over Pharao
at the parting of the Red Sea, the leaving of Sinai and entering of Canaan, the
receiving of the Law at Horeb, etc. There were lots of events that an inspired writer of
scripture cold have picked in order to get a beautiful typology as well as a date that
was generally considered by historical authorities of the time as being pretty accurate.
On these grounds I hold that the masoretic dating should be looked at as at least a
possible ballpark figure inspite of its typology.
"If there are many wisemen in a city, this means that the city will soon fall."
Hochschule für Jüdische Studien
---------- Original Message ----------
>Well, there is my thesis that Jacob is to be dated to that time as well as Hamor and
>whole era. Otherwise, it is a big puzzle where everything has to be coordinated and
>assessed. I think that Rameses II is the most likely Pharaoh of the exodus as
>knows Israel in c. 1220. Accordingly, the 14th century is the actually patriarchal era
>13th that of the conquest, the 12th that of the Judges etc.
>> ** Original Subject: Re: Habiru and Joshua
>> ** Original Sender: Jonathan Bailey <jonathan.bailey at gmx.de>
>> ** Original Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 04:20:14 -0800
>> ** Original Message follows...
>> Right. So, what do people think about placing the invasion of Joshua and his
>> successors in the early 14th century? Any reason this couldn't have happened?
>> Anything preventing Joshua and huis successors from being the habiru of
>> "If there are many wisemen in a city, this means that the city will soon fall."
>> Babylonian proverb
>> Jonathan Bailey
>> Hochschule für Jüdische Studien
>> ---------- Original Message ----------
>> >The numbers of the "MT dating" are patently round and symbolic: 480=12 x 40;
>> >oppression = 10 X 40; the wanderings= 40. 40's everywhere. Not to be taken
>> >> ** Original Subject: Habiru and Joshua
>> >> ** Original Sender: Jonathan Bailey <jonathan.bailey at gmx.de>
>> >> ** Original Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2000 13:12:45 -0800
>> >> ** Original Message follows...
>> >> The Habiru of Amarna letters are starting to sound a lot like Joshua and his
>> >> Remember, the MT dating of 1446 and Wandering until 1406, then an early in
>> >> century date for Joshua's conquests fits pretty well with much of the time of
>> >> Amarna letters. Now by "Joshua and his crew" I am not just talking about the
>> >> conquests of Joshua in his book, but also the "claiming the land" conquests in
>> >> next generation described in Judges.
>> >> I have not been following this whole thread, so forgive me if this has already
>> >> brought up. It seems, however, that a conservative can hardly miss this
>> >> Any thoughts?
>> >> "If there are many wisemen in a city, this means that the city will soon fall."
>> >> Babylonian proverb
>> >> Jonathan Bailey
>> >> Hochschule für Jüdische Studien
>> >> Heidelberg
>> >> http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Column/9707/index.html
>> >> ---
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>> >L.M. Barre
>> >Point Loma, California
>>** --------- End Original Message ----------- **
>Point Loma, California
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